The Austrian Film Institute, the official government funder, had $21.35 million available under its FISA film funding scheme. The good news, says AFI director Roland Teichmann, is “there’s the political effort to get it up to $25.9 million” when its three-year renewal comes up this year.
Local producers rely on government support since the country’s tax and investment regime is not particularly film-friendly. Still, there is money available to overseas producers, who are welcome to apply, either through co-producing with a local partner or setting up a local entity. FISA offers a 25% rebate, capped at $1.7 million per project.
Teichmann points out that although Germany’s federal fund is larger, Austria still nabbed projects such as “360,” which filmed in Vienna, as well as others from the U.K. and Germany, such as “Ludwig II.” “Our producers are very open to international co-productions,” he says.
In addition, there are various regional incentives, as offered by the federal states of Tyrol, Styria, Salzburg, Lower Austria and the capital, Vienna.
“(Fox) got $388,000 from Salzburg, for ‘Knight and Day,’?and spent almost $2.3 million here,” says Austrian film commissioner Arie Bohrer. “We get many enquiries from Americans filming in Hungary and the Czech Republic, whom we can serve through the regional funds. Each region has its own film commission: They are skilled and all happy to help. Our crews are very professional with international expertise. Language is never a problem.”
The real attraction, of course, is Austria’s great natural beauty. “We have locations from modern cities to castles and stately homes in excellent condition,” says Bohrer. “Wonderful landscapes, a super infrastructure with five-star hotels, we can accommodate crews very near to all locations and the quality does not stop when you step outside the front door, as it does in some countries.”
Location Austria serves as a one-stop shop for filmmakers looking to shoot in Austria, offering help in finding co-production partners, crews, obtaining production funding, location scouting support and other services.
Austria also offers top post-production facilities with state-of-the-art hardware and software and its proximity to Germany also offers easy access to leading post and vfx players in Munich and Stuttgart.
Austria builds on big year | Incentives ready for savvy co-prods | Austrians on the rise